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Economics References Committee - 20/11/2015 - Personal choice and community impacts

WEATHERBURN, Dr Donald James, Director, New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

CHAIR: Welcome. I remind committee members and officers that the Senate has resolved that an officer of a department of the Commonwealth or of a state shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy and should be given reasonable opportunity to refer questions asked of the officer to superior officers or to a minister. This resolution prohibits questions asking for opinions on matters of policy and does not preclude questions asking for explanations of policy or factual questions about when and how policies were adopted.

Thank you for appearing before us today. Do you wish to make an opening statement before we proceed?

Dr Weatherburn : Not really. I am happy to answer your questions.

CHAIR: I think I have read the three documents that your bureau has produced. I am just going to ask you some general questions, some of which I know the answers to, but I can get it into Hansard if I ask you the questions. Can you comment on the rates of non-domestic violence assault in New South Wales over the past 10 years and what the trend has been.

Dr Weatherburn : Generally speaking—and I have to say 'generally' because it varies somewhat depending on what area you are looking at—across the state as a whole there was a steady increase in the number of non-domestic assault incidents reported to police up to around 2008. At that point in time the trend started to go down. It has been going down more or less continuously ever since—slowly; not in a dramatic form until recently.

CHAIR: Do you have a view as to why it has been falling since 2008?

Dr Weatherburn : I do. I think the turning point came with the first series of laws that imposed tougher restrictions on licensed premises in New South Wales—most notably, the laws that were passed by a previous state government which put restrictions on, I think, the top 48 licensed premises in terms of the numbers of assaults that occurred on those licensed premises. This also followed restrictions on licensed premises in Newcastle which had a problem of alcohol-related assault. Then there was a succession of reforms both by the previous state government, and the New South Wales government that followed seemed to accelerate the downward trend. We cannot, however, be absolutely sure about that. We did not have a control site that would have enabled us to be absolutely sure that it was because of those legal changes and not some secular factor such as an overall decline in alcohol consumption, but the timing fits.

CHAIR: Your data, as I understand it, says that following the lock-outs there was a 32 per cent decrease in non—domestic assaults in Kings Cross and a 26 per cent decrease in Sydney CBD, and at the same time there was a reduction across the rest of New South Wales of nine per cent. Is there a background factor? Are you attributing that to the changes to licensing premises on a state-wide basis.

Dr Weatherburn : There is only one change that could have produced the nine per cent reduction—that is, the closing of bottle shops at an earlier hour of the day than previously. All of the other restrictions, as I understand it, applied only to the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD entertainment districts. I am not myself sure that the nine per cent reduction is attributable to the earlier closing of bottle shops. I just do not think we have enough evidence to make that conclusion. In the CBD area and the Kings Cross area we have natural comparison sites, but we do not have any comparison site for the rest of New South Wales because the whole of the rest of New South Wales had that earlier 10 pm closing time for bottle shops.

Senator DASTYARI: Can I just confirm that data specifically. You said there was a 36 per cent reduction in the Cross, 26 per cent across the city and nine per cent across the state, correct?

Dr Weatherburn : Yes.

Senator DASTYARI: I do not know what percentage of the assaults were in the Cross. To what extent are they just the ones that have figures affecting each other? Do you understand where I am coming from? That nine per cent includes the Cross, correct?

Dr Weatherburn : No, it does not. The nine per cent is minus Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct.

Senator DASTYARI: So that 26 per cent in the city is minus the Cross?

Dr Weatherburn : That is right.

Senator DASTYARI: So there are three different data sets.

Dr Weatherburn : Three different data sets and three different areas.

Senator DASTYARI: Thank you. I was not sure that they were.

CHAIR: I know this is asking you to speculate, but could broader sociological factors have contributed to the overall decline in the rest of New South Wales, like a change in drinking cultures, even a tendency to replace alcohol with recreational drugs, alcohol taxes and those sorts of things? Do you have any evidence or are you able to speculate on what else might have contributed, if anything?

Dr Weatherburn : The one thing that might account for the change—it is an ambiguous indicator—is that from about 2008 onwards there appears to be a general reduction in drinking of alcohol by young people. It is not clear how much of that reduction has been driven by New South Wales and by the changes in the law in New South Wales and to what extent it would have happened anyway. That is impossible to tell, because we do not have good-quality alcohol sales data collected in New South Wales. The problem I have is that the timing is so specific, and the changes affected the very licensed premises that were responsible for most of the assaults. It was the top 48 when the first set of changes happened. It was not those licensed premises below the top 48. It was only those where the restrictions were imposed. As for the alcopops tax, for example, we had a look at that and saw no effect of the alcopops tax, and similar research in Germany showed very little effect there. The only drug at the moment that is going up quite rapidly in consumption is methamphetamine, but that predates the lockout laws and the initial changes. That increase has been going on for some time now and in places which do not have big problems with assaults. I think alcohol at the moment still swamps methamphetamine as a contributor to the assault problem.

CHAIR: The lockouts came in two phases. I think I have this right. The first was in January 2014 and the second in July 2014 under the CBD Plan of Management. Am I right about that?

Dr Weatherburn : It is the January 2014 reforms that we refer to as the lockout laws.

CHAIR: That was applicable to Kings Cross. Did it also apply to the CBD?

Dr Weatherburn : Yes, it did.

CHAIR: What changed in July? Anything?

Dr Weatherburn : There may have been some change in July. I am not sure of that. It certainly was not of significance for the purposes of our evaluation.

CHAIR: Okay. The City of Sydney has done a survey of patrons, which indicated Kings Cross experienced an 80 per cent decline in pedestrian traffic since the lockouts commenced. Your bulletin 103 shows a 32 per cent decline in non-domestic violent assaults in Kings Cross since the lockouts. The City of Sydney data is also supported by the Transport data. Is it possible that the only reason violent assaults in Kings Cross fell is that there are fewer people coming into the Cross?

Dr Weatherburn : It is entirely possible.

CHAIR: Considering that foot traffic fell further than the number of violent incidents, is it possible that the rate of violent assaults, the number of incidents relative to the number of people there, might have actually risen?

Dr Weatherburn : That is difficult to say. I would really need continuous data on the foot traffic. Actually, what would be really good is changes in alcohol consumption that I could tie to the assaults. I have no idea whether or not the reduction in foot traffic is bigger or smaller than the reduction in violence, but that is a big research project of its own. All I can say is that it is not clear to us with the data available to us at this stage whether the reduction is because there has been a reduction in the number of people coming to Kings Cross or because those who are coming are drinking less or both.

CHAIR: That sort of half-answers my next question, which is: you have reported the fact that police recorded a significant decrease in incidents of grievous bodily harm and New South Wales Ambulance calls for assault, and at the same time St Vincent's Hospital are saying fewer people are coming in with head injuries and that sort of stuff, but there has been an increase in emergency department presentations for acute alcohol illness. I am curious about this acute alcohol illness. I am wondering whether there is an actual increase in acute alcohol illness. To what extent can you attribute one to the other?

Dr Weatherburn : I also find it a puzzle. I should make clear that ambulance call-outs to assaults in Kings Cross fell, just as did reports of non-domestic assault. What did not decline was, as you say, emergency department presentations for acute alcohol illness. One potential explanation is that they far outnumber the number of ambulance call-outs—in other words, far more people turn up in hospital with acute alcohol problems than turn up in hospital for alcohol-related assaults. So the trends might be unrelated for that reason. But I do not have a ready explanation for the discrepancy between those two trends.

CHAIR: It occurs to me that, when I was young enough to remember when people were getting seriously drunk, they tended to go home and sleep or sleep where they fell and did not call an ambulance. I wonder whether there has been a cultural change. Is that possible?

Dr Weatherburn : It is always possible there has been some cultural change. The question I think that anyone who wants to explain it in terms of cultural change has to address is why it happened so suddenly in 2008. That is pretty abrupt. I would have thought cultural change would take a long period of time to take place. You would not suddenly get it between 2007 and 2008.

CHAIR: Yes, although you said there is a reduction in drinking by young people since 2008—

Dr Weatherburn : This is across the country.

CHAIR: Yes, across the country—but presentations for acute alcohol illness to hospitals have gone up.

Dr Weatherburn : It went up in the period between 2004 and 2007. It levelled off after that. People of my age group are still drinking too much and probably account for the bulk of it. Young people, as you say, are not drinking as much, but they may be using other drugs.

Senator DASTYARI: Dr Weatherburn, the stuff you do is fascinating. I have a statistician wife who is a fan of yours.

Dr Weatherburn : I am pleased to hear it.

CHAIR: You have a few fans, Dr Weatherburn.

Dr Weatherburn : Oh, good. I must tell my kids.

Senator DASTYARI: They are not among them?

Dr Weatherburn : They have a mixed view. But let's not go there! That's a policy question!

Senator DASTYARI: The paper that I am referring to is No. 183, your Lockouts and last drinks. Is that the most up-to-date piece of information you have on this data? I know you corrected it. There was a boundary thing that got changed on a later media release.

Dr Weatherburn : Yes.

Senator DASTYARI: Is that the last piece of updated information that you have on this analysis? Is that what you are going off today?

Dr Weatherburn : That is the last completed piece of work. We are currently in the middle of extending this analysis to take in a longer period of time, to see whether or not the changes have been sustained. I do not know at this stage what we are going to find.

Senator DASTYARI: Do you know when you suspect you will have that report out? Is it early next year or—

Dr Weatherburn : I would expect early next year would be likely—certainly well before the middle of next year.

Senator DASTYARI: So you suspect that, at some point in the first half of next year, you will come out with an updated report on—

Dr Weatherburn : Updated and extended, so we will be looking at specifically at changes by time of day and changes on and off licensed premises. It will be a more comprehensive report but basically modelled along the same lines as this one, just looking at more issues.

Senator DASTYARI: Some of the evidence we heard today in particular had a Newtown emphasis, because of the witnesses we had, but the anecdotal evidence is that some of the just-outlying-the-boundary precincts, be it the eastern suburbs—I am sure we have read the same media stories—

Dr Weatherburn : Sure.

Senator DASTYARI: You obviously follow this stuff as well. So it was about the precincts out east, the Coogee and Double Bay area; the inner west, obviously the Newtown area; and a little bit of it up north. Effectively, the precincts that fall just outside the boundaries of the lockout laws. Is that something in your analysis that you will be specifically looking at, to see what impact these laws have had on those areas?

Dr Weatherburn : Absolutely. I should say we keep constant track of what is going on, not only in the precincts that figured in this report but also in areas where the public become concerned, such as Newtown and the casino, that there may have been displacement. We did see displacement in the casino area. The net increase there was much smaller than the net decrease in the city CBD and King's Cross, but there is certainly evidence of displacement in the Star Casino during that early stage.

Senator DASTYARI: How do you measure displacement, Dr Weatherburn?

Dr Weatherburn : Basically we are looking for an increase in assault in an area adjacent to one that has got a decrease. We are looking for evidence—and it is only indirect—that people have stopped going to one location and gone to another. In the case of the casino, it was an obvious site of displacement because it is not very far to go to if you cannot get a drink in King's Cross. And that did show some sign of an increase.

Although there is considerable talk about Newtown becoming more violent, we have not seen any convincing evidence of that yet. It may be that the concern people are showing is in relation to intimidation or lower level offences that do not quite constitute assaults. Bearing in mind that the number of assaults does not stand still—it jumps around quite a bit—people can react to what amounts to random variation in the number of assaults. So when we run the test to see if there is any difference, the test is designed to tell us whether the variation could have come about by chance or whether it is probably attributed to chance. At the moment, it is well within the bounds of chance.

CHAIR: A previous witness suggested that there was a degree of reluctance to report assaults in the Newtown area because the community there is mostly LGBTI and—if I can paraphrase what I think the witness said—they are not entirely sure they would be treated as seriously as they would like to be by the police. Have you encountered that as a factor influencing data in the past?

Dr Weatherburn : It is absolutely true that the majority of assault incidents are not reported to the police. National victim surveys show that overall about one in three are reported. That goes up substantially if you are talking about the more serious assaults, so I could not rule out the possibility that there is reluctance to report assaults in King's Cross. The only question I would have—

CHAIR: Newtown was what I was referring to.

Dr Weatherburn : sorry, Newtown—is has that changed over time? Is there any reason to believe people are now more reluctant to report than they were previously?

Senator DASTYARI: And you are saying that would be a trend anyway?

Dr Weatherburn : Yes, that is exactly right.

CHAIR: I understand.

Senator DASTYARI: Okay, so you are saying that the data you have at this point in time has not demonstrated a variation in the assaults outside the parameters of what you would see would be otherwise—sorry; you are not in a position to be able to say or verify that there is a causal link between the displacement in the variations that are occurring at the moment in assault figures in a place like Newtown, but you are going to do further analysis of that and have a report out early next year?

Dr Weatherburn : Just to summarise this precisely: we have seen an increase in assaults in the casino; we do not know whether that has been sustained; we will know early next year. We have not seen a significant increase in assaults in Newtown but we do not know whether that is still the case, so we will look at that as well early next year.

Senator DASTYARI: And is that the same with the—again, the anecdotal evidence that we have been given, and the media reports that it has also been out east as well, that the same kind of thing has happened. Is that the same—

Dr Weatherburn : Coogee and Double Bay and Bondi were included in the original analysis and, far from showing an increase, they showed a decrease, along with Sydney CBD and King's Cross.

CHAIR: To come to your attention, to get into your statistics, it has to be a serious enough assault—I think I know the answer to this—to be reported to the police and get captured by them?

Dr Weatherburn : Yes.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Or is it sufficient for it to come to the attention of Ambulance?

Dr Weatherburn : We would look, and have looked, at Ambulance figures as well as police figures. For us, police figures always have their limitations, one of which I have just explained. Ambulance figures are another way to triangulate the problem. So we are happy to look at any source of data that might give us some insight.

CHAIR: What is the Ambulance data like?

Dr Weatherburn : The Ambulance data are, as far as we are concerned, good, or at least they show the same general pattern as the police data shows. I am sure many assaults do not result in an ambulance call, just as many assaults do not result in a police call, but it is always comforting when the two trends move in the same direction.

CHAIR: You would think that there would be a reasonable number of incidents that come to the attention of ambulances and not the police, perhaps. Would that be right?

Dr Weatherburn : That is a good question. I would have to take that on notice to check that. Maybe the answer is actually in that report. The short answer is that we have not done a study which looks at whether or not an assault that was reported to police was also reported to the Ambulance. But my guess is that because the bulk of assaults are common assaults—that is to say, they do not involve any actual or grievous bodily harm—there would be more assaults reported to police than would result in an ambulance call.

CHAIR: In terms of the excess alcohol incidents that arise, it is not an offence to become ill from drinking too much alcohol.

Dr Weatherburn : No.

CHAIR: So presumably they would come to the attention of Ambulance and not the police, perhaps.

Dr Weatherburn : Absolutely. If you are not talking about assaults and you are just talking about ambulance call-outs or ED presentations for alcohol-related intoxication, they would be affected by a large number of events that are not in any way, shape or form related to an assault—someone simply getting so drunk they are vomiting in the street or whatever.

CHAIR: Yes, that sort of thing, and their friends are worried about them and call the ambulance.

Dr Weatherburn : Exactly.

CHAIR: That is what I was thinking of. Will the data you are capturing capture both types of incident?

Dr Weatherburn : At the moment we are just working on the assaults reported to police.

CHAIR: Just assaults?

Dr Weatherburn : That is right, partly because we are satisfied that we would see the same story—that, now that we have done the work, we would see much the same story if we looked at ambulance attendances. But, if the health department make that data readily available to us, we will do both.

CHAIR: What I am curious to know is whether or not we will know. At the moment your preliminary data would suggest there has been an overall reduction in alcohol related violence, so there has been a little bit of displacement but not enough to make up for the reduction. I think that is the safe conclusion from your work. So I guess the question is whether there have also been incidents of alcohol fuelling or causing illness. If you were to work on the assumption that a level of violence is not reported and that excessive alcohol consumption is a precursor, in many cases, to violence and so forth, and if you are measuring both of those, you might then get an indication about what a previous witness described as young men coming to Newtown, intoxicated and in many cases also on drugs. You would expect that that would have two consequences. One is that more of them would come to the attention of the Ambulance service, but there also would be a relationship with violence. So I am just wondering whether, in your further studies, there is a way in which you will be able to compare the two. Is there a way in which you can look at both alcohol effects, if there is a displacement effect, and violent offences? What are your thoughts on that?

Dr Weatherburn : If you are talking about examining just alcohol use broadly, without regard to its impact on assault, it falls outside our brief. We investigate crime and justice.

CHAIR: Because overconsumption of alcohol is not a crime.

Dr Weatherburn : That is right.

CHAIR: I understand.

Dr Weatherburn : But, to the extent that it influences violence, we are vitally interested in it. If the data are available and are made available, we will look at those data.

CHAIR: We might get you to take this question on notice: to what extent are the reports of excess alcohol consumption, to the extent that that comes in contact with the Ambulance service, a predictor of violence?

Do you have anything on that, or are you able to dig anything out on that, do you think?

Dr Weatherburn : I may be misunderstanding your point, but the paper that I provided to you—I think you have it—the Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 185


Dr Weatherburn : I feel that I must be misunderstanding your point there, because the aim in that bulletin was to see whether or not the trend in ambulance attendances to assaults in Kings Cross and Sydney's entertainment precinct followed the same pattern as the police figures, and it does.

CHAIR: Oh, okay. That is exactly where I was heading with this, yes.

Dr Weatherburn : Okay. So what does not follow the same pattern are admissions to hospital with acute alcohol intoxication. Now I am not hugely surprised by that, partly because many people who would never be assaulted or assault someone can nonetheless get very ill drinking alcohol. So it may well be that the particular trend for ED admissions are people in older age groups who drink but who are not connected with any assault that may be driven by other factors. I am not an expert in public health, so I had probably best leave that comment to others.

What is reassuring for us is that the ambulance attendances to alcohol related incidents follow the same pattern as the police assaults.

CHAIR: Okay. That is where I was heading with this. The previous witness argued that late in the evening Newtown is seeing an influx of, particularly, young men who are alcohol affected and who are also, in her view, often drug affected, and who are prone to violence.

She also made the point that in that area, because a lot of the victims are likely to be LGBTI, reporting levels might be lower. So I am just wondering whether what you found in 185 with the close correlation between ambulance reports and police reports on violence would hold true under those circumstances?

Dr Weatherburn : We should check that. But I should say one thing, and that is that what matters is not whether there is underreporting of assaults. That is taken as a given. What matters is whether the level of underreporting has increased.

CHAIR: I see—yes, of course.

Dr Weatherburn : I am happy to accept the proposition that people who live in Newtown are more reluctant than most to report assaults to police, but that would not affect the trends. What would affect the trends is any change in the willingness to report in the short term.

CHAIR: Okay.

Senator DASTYARI: Can we just touch on the issue that you touched on before, which was methamphetamine use? When we say 'methamphetamine' we are talking about what people describe as 'ice', is that right?

Dr Weatherburn : Yes. Or amphetamines generally, yes.

Senator DASTYARI: Okay. Can you just touch on that? Have you seen the statistics on reported methamphetamine crime go up? Can you run through some of those figures for us?

Dr Weatherburn : No—I have not seen that, as a matter of fact.

Senator DASTYARI: Okay.

Dr Weatherburn : We do not have good data on methamphetamine use. The closest we come are arrests for methamphetamine or amphetamine use and possession. Arrests for that purpose have gone up quite dramatically over a long period of time. We are seeing a lot of it in the newspaper these days. But, in fact, if you look back it has been going up for some time and it accelerated recently. That is—

Senator DASTYARI: And from your data, has that become a replacement drug? Has that replaced other kinds of hard drugs?

Dr Weatherburn : I do not know whether it is the same cohort of users. But it is true to say that after the heroin shortage took hold and the number of heroin users plummeted, that after a few years amphetamine use started to go up. I doubt that they are the same cohort, but there may be some overlap between them.

The point is that there has been no parallel increase in assaults over the same period when there has been an increase in people arrested for use and possession of methamphetamine. When we did the National Drug Strategy Household Survey to see whether there was any correlation or overlap between people who use alcohol and people who use methamphetamine we found that although it is true that methamphetamine users are often heavy users of alcohol, the reverse is not true. Most heavy users of alcohol do not use methamphetamine.

So the short story for me is that at the moment it does not look like methamphetamine use is contributing to violence except, perhaps, in some incidents that are not frequent enough for us to pick up. I would have expected the two trends to go up together, is the shortest, simplest way of putting it. And we are not seeing that; we are seeing a very rapid increase in methamphetamine consumption and either stable or falling assault levels.

Senator DASTYARI: And at the same time have you seen a reduction in alcohol consumption levels, or have they stayed fairly consistent? You do not measure consumptions—

Dr Weatherburn : No, but I have seen a paper recently which would suggest that in or around 2008 the number of young people using alcohol frequently started to fall. So there does seem to have been a change. Dr Michael Livingston—I am sure he would not mind me mentioning his name—has done good work in this area. He is currently at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, although I think he is going to Monash. He has done some work that suggests that young people's consumption of alcohol is dropping.

Senator DASTYARI: In fairness to them, some of the licensees and venues have argued over a long period of time, which I am sure you are aware of, Dr Weatherburn, to what extent they are responsible—or how responsible they can be—for some of the patrons? The two things they point to are the possibility of prefuelling—people drink before they attend a venue for many reasons, some of those being price and some of those being culture—

Dr Weatherburn : Yes.

Senator DASTYARI: And there is the rise in illicit drug use and the 'ice phenomenon', if you will. You are saying that there is no data to support that?

Dr Weatherburn : I have not looked specifically at Kings Cross, so I cannot be sure that the pattern is different in Kings Cross to elsewhere. But if there were a close connection between methamphetamine use and violence, as I said earlier, I would have expected violence to be rising now because methamphetamine use, by all accounts, is rising. That is not happening.

That is not to say that in some pubs or in some locations there is a close combination of alcohol use and stimulant use—or preloading, or whatever. I could not rule that out; I just do not have the data available for Kings Cross to be sure about that.

CHAIR: We have taken some evidence on that in another inquiry I am on. The other witnesses who have statistics on methamphetamine consumption are pretty similar to you. They say that really they are not finding any substantial increase in use. So it is not a surprise to hear you say that.

Dr Weatherburn : No.

CHAIR: I just want to talk about Kings Cross and how it compares to the rest of Sydney and New South Wales. You have done the study on violence and the reduction of violence in Kings Cross relative to the rest of New South Wales. How far back can you go in comparing levels of violent assaults in Kings Cross with the rest of New South Wales?

Dr Weatherburn : To 1994.

CHAIR: 1994. And has it been substantially different from the rest of New South Wales over that period?

Dr Weatherburn : The short answer is, 'I don't know.' I would have to look back and get that data. But it is easy to obtain.

CHAIR: If you would not mind taking that one on notice, please?

Dr Weatherburn : Okay.

CHAIR: That would be useful. What I would like to know is—and tell me what you know and tell me what you need to take on notice, please—how different Kings Cross has been from the rest of Sydney and the rest of New South Wales in terms of violent assaults.

Dr Weatherburn : Okay.

CHAIR: And how long it has been—I am assuming that there is a difference. As I was explaining to a previous witness, I am old enough to remember when Kings Cross was used as the R & R location for the American troops during the Vietnam War.

Dr Weatherburn : Sure.

CHAIR: There were many, many reports of fights and violence and so forth at that time. How good the statistics are from that period is a bit dubious, because they had American MPs dealing with a lot of it and they probably would not have come to the attention of the police. But nevertheless, my impression is that Kings Cross has always had a higher level of assaults than the rest of Sydney.

So in policy terms, that then raises the question as to whether there is any advantage in 'confining', if you like, the contributors to assaults to a particular suburb so that can be confined and managed more appropriately. So it would be useful, actually, to know how Kings Cross compares.

Dr Weatherburn : There is no problem in getting the numbers. One problem in interpreting them, I should flag, is that in most parts of the state you can express the risk of assault by dividing the number of assaults by the resident population.


Dr Weatherburn : Kings Cross presents a problem for that exercise because it has a huge transient population.


Dr Weatherburn : But I will get the raw numbers for you and at least you can see what they are doing in Kings Cross compared with the rest of the state.

CHAIR: Okay. Yes, that is right: the rest of the state and the rest of Sydney, perhaps, if you do not mind.

Dr Weatherburn : Okay.

Senator DASTYARI: Thank you for doing that, Dr Weatherburn.

Dr Weatherburn : No problem.

CHAIR: I think you do wonderful work.

Dr Weatherburn : Thank you very much!

CHAIR: I am very grateful for your attendance.

Senator DASTYARI: That was fantastic, thank you.

CHAIR: Can we impose on you? Can we hear back from you with that information within two weeks? Would that be—

Dr Weatherburn : Oh, easily. That will be done today, no problem.

CHAIR: Good on you. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Proceedings suspended from 12 : 00 to 13 : 01